Holiday Shopping Kids Dream Big MasterMind Toys Gift Guide

Tips for Holiday Shopping when your Kids Dream Big

Disclaimer: This post with tips on holiday shopping when your kids dream big is brought to you by Mastermind Toys. The opinions and ideas are my own, but I am receiving in-kind payment for sharing them with you.

Christmas shopping season is in full force! How do you keep calm and within budget when the kids start dreaming big? Here are a few tips to make the shopping process less stressful – on your AND your bank account!

  1. Focus your children on one store at which you want to shop.

A simple trick to keep yourself from running all over town – pay attention to the mail coming into the house and limit how many flyers and catalogues the kids see! Pick one gift guide you want them to enjoy and make a big deal about bringing it home and looking through it together.

The Mastermind Toys’ Holiday Gift Guide is available in stores now. Stop by and pick up a copy! Break out the cozy PJs, heat up some cocoa, and start a tradition of browsing through the guide as a family.

  1. Use Mastermind Toys’ Gift Finder Tool to help you find inspiration based on age and interest.

Be prepared: check out the toys online BEFORE handing over the Gift Guide to the kids! The Mastermind Toys’ Holiday Gift Guide is online now; take a peek. I really enjoy the way it’s filtered: you can choose an age, a category (like active play, make-believe & music, or toppers & stuffers), and then popular with all kids, boys, or girls.

You also can set a budget for each search – a very handy tool if you’re looking online with the kids and want to keep them focused on choices that fall within your limits! (You can also click ‘add to cart’ right then, or use the ‘add to gift list’ option to build an online list.)

  1. Let the kids dream big with Mastermind Toys’ Holiday Gift Guide!

Indulge the fun! Make time to browse the pages and just let the kids dream. It can be hard to watch those little eyes dancing with excitement, breathlessly talking about how much they LOVE a gift you know just won’t happen in your home this year. But there’s a lot of magic in those moments of dreaming. You can hold off reminding them of reality for a few moments – and I’ve got a tip for trying to quietly nudge them towards what’s within your budget.

  1. Make a list TOGETHER.

I’m all for having the kids write or draw their own list – or even cut the photos out, if possible – but I still like to be involved, watching over their shoulder and talking about the options. You can ask what it is about certain toys that catches their attention: do they really want that super-expensive robotic unicorn, or are they just dreaming about any unicorn under the tree?

Another tactic is to get the kids to rank the items on a certain page, say, one with a toy you were thinking would be a good choice for them. Make sure YOU rank the toys, too. You can each use a different colour to mark your choices, then talk through them. Maybe you can sway them to seeing your point of view, without having to shoot down their choices.

  1. Visit the Toy Experts at Mastermind Toys!

Bring your list to the store and reduce your stress again by asking for help. Staff can quickly find the items you’re looking for, help with any information you need to make decisions between potential purchases, and you can even get the gifts wrapped then and there!

Know exactly what you need and don’t want to add a trip to the store? You can always shop online, too!

PS: Don’t forget batteries, if needed, and if you have little ones who aren’t going to like waiting for things to come out of the packaging or be assembled, consider cutting the ties holding toys in place before wrapping.

That’s it – a few simple ways to let the kids dream big without breaking the bank or sending you into a panic! Thanks to everyone who shared their family traditions around wish lists and shopping tips. Congratulations to the winner of a $150 Mastermind Toys Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

98 thoughts on “Tips for Holiday Shopping when your Kids Dream Big

  1. KDot November 6, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Great giveaway

  2. Michelle November 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Christmas is pretty simple in my house. The kids receive 1 main toy gift each and we listen all year round to decide what that will be. We don’t ask for written wishlists because we found it lead to a lot of changes and greed in the end. We focus our lists on our giving instead. The kids really enjoy that!

    • Jenna Morton November 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      I LOVE the idea of a written ‘giving’ list! Fantastic!

  3. Jenna MacDonald November 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    My Little Dude is only 2 so we haven’t had to worry too much yet about making a list. This post has great ideas for me to keep in mind for the future – I love the idea of making the list together and choosing a store ahead of time to keep thing simple for us parents!

    • Jenna Morton November 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      It’s tricky when all the flyers start showing up & the kids are old enough to understand! Start it now & you’ll have him trained. 🙂

  4. Deanne November 6, 2017 at 11:03 am

    We go through ththe catalogues together and circle items that my son might like and then he chooses his top three to ask Santa for.

    • Jenna Morton November 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I love making sure the kids have more than one item they focus on – so we can have options if things are hard to find or out of budget!

  5. Sarah November 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Great giveaway! My son loves mastermind toys!

  6. Jen November 6, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Love mastermind toys… they make it so easy

  7. K Gunn November 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

    My two are still quite little, so we haven’t made lists yet. Each year I save flyers and catalogues and let my clients cut & paste their lists at the start of the holiday season.

    • Jenna Morton November 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      The cut & paste can be so fun – and a great skill builder for little hands!

  8. Heidi Tattrie Rushton November 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I took Mr M to the Halifax Mastermind Toys the other day and he was in little boy heaven – and I was in Mama heaven. Such wonderful, quality toys! I can’t wait to get started shopping for them!

  9. Katy November 6, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    My three year old likes to look over my shoulder as I online shop haha

  10. DEBBIE BEAM November 6, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Well, they used to circle things in the “Wish Book”…..so now, we will use flyers and store brochures to make the list!

  11. Katherine November 6, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I go through the flyers with her 🙂

  12. Regan A November 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    This will be the first real list making year (on her own), and she wants EVERYTHING. So we’ll sit down together with some flyers, and go thru them and ask her to pick out a few things she wants. Also when we’re in the stores, I try to take photos with my phone of things to go back for, or to add for gifting ideas

  13. Tracy H November 6, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Mine is too little to make a list yet but we will encourage her to pick a handful of items at different price points and explain that just bc its on the list doesnt guarsntee she will get it. The list is for ideas/wishes not for “Im getting”. 😊

  14. Tina November 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    We haven’t talked about lists yet as my oldest just turned 4! This is a great resource for the years to come though!

  15. Anitra Stevens November 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I really like the new Mastermind toys stores in both Halifax and Dartmouth. Good helpful tips.

  16. Judy November 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

  17. S Simpson November 6, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    My daughter is still too young to make a list, but we pay attention to her interests and buy accordingly.

  18. Natalie Leslie November 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Great tips!

  19. KNelson November 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Awesome giveaway! Love this store and have been enjoying many logic games both at school with students and at home with my own!

  20. Suzanne November 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    What my daughter does usually, it’s take the sears catalogue and circle all the gift she would like. This year we will need to find something else to do since sears is close 🙁

  21. Jessica Bleasdale November 6, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    My kids generally have fairly small and reasonable wish lists. We try to give them a couple of items from their lists, plus give them some things they need.

  22. Melissa November 6, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Gift ideas come from kiddo’s interests, and we love catalogues to find out what’s new!

  23. Megan Balcom November 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Going through a couple flyers and putting stickers on a few favs. My son is 2 so its still a bit of a process, lol.

  24. Carmen LeBlanc November 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Great tips – will definitely be incorporating some of these for shopping for my nieces and nephews!

  25. Suzanne G November 7, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I always ask for a list from my grandchildren which they provide and I shop from this list.

  26. Sandra Furlotte November 7, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Used to love the Wish Book as it provided hours of joy for the kids, but it tends to be TV commercials now.

  27. Krista M November 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    My son doesn’t make a list as he has special needs, but mama knows what he wants! And my daughter looks online at her favorite stores to gather ideas for her list!

  28. Myra November 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    This is the first year we’ll have a child old enough to have any opinion. I’m hoping to downplay the whole gift side of things from the start – in the hope of keeping things reasonable as they get older. We don’t have a TV, which definitely helps. Great tips here on how we can move into this phase together! I just checked out Mastermind’s site and there are some beautiful toys! Can’t wait to explore it further! Thanks!

  29. Jackie M November 7, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    We create our wishlist by browsing through stores and magazines.

  30. Amy Heffernan November 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    We always have a tradition. Sit and explore and think of really nice good items my boys would like. They love to write there letters! Thanks!

  31. Jenn Beckett jennpup November 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    My 13 year old surfs the web, or gets ideas from YouTubers or favourite shows. My son is an enigma, so we guess what he would like. I love the Gift Finder at Mastermind Toys site! Thanks!

  32. A. R. November 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    My daughter will make her list based on what she has seen in stores or from flyers and catalogs we receive around Christmas time.

  33. Monica November 7, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I love Mastermind Toys. Lots of fun, educational, and quality items to choose from. I like the one flyer=one stop shop idea! My 2 and 4 year old are very much enjoying circling throughout the flyer. I love that my son often says “Sister would love this…” Thinking of others, not just himself.

  34. Rhonda November 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    This would certainly help the wish list. Suttle hints are dropped…lol.

  35. E Wilbur November 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Just started talking about a list this year as our little guy is only 3.5. We’ve looked at a few flyers so far, great ideas here! We love Mastermind toys!

  36. Tammy Dalley November 7, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    we usually search online toys r us places like that, the kids usually make a list of things they really want and we choose a few big things they really like!

  37. Doris Humber November 7, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    We would look at the WishList Sears Catalogue…..but now they’re closing, we will look at flyers.

  38. Amie November 8, 2017 at 2:31 am

    We always make lists , we look at catalogues or websites , its always fun , seeing what everyone likes and wants and just looking at whats new and fun !

  39. Noelle Carroll November 8, 2017 at 7:12 am

    My son loves looking through amazon and adding to the cart

  40. Marlene J November 8, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Either we go online/flyers/catalogues or in person & then we write down it in a book naming what we want, what store & price.

  41. jessica s November 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

    We used to look at the Sears Wish Book! I’m so sad that this will no longer be a tradition. This year I will be taking my son to Mastermind to make his list! Thanks 🙂

  42. Chris Stockford November 8, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Write them all out on paper in a special book.

  43. Paul A November 8, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    We look at magazines and catalogues.

  44. Dianne G. November 9, 2017 at 12:30 am

    I talk through the year with my grandchildren about the toys that they are interested in and the older ones who are past toys are always happy with gift cards. I get a few small things each month for them. No one does lists in our family.

  45. Viv Sluys November 9, 2017 at 3:06 am

    I jot down things i overhear my kids saying are cool or that they want for a few months before their birthdays or christmas so I always have an idea when someone asks. We visit toy stores and toy sections of stores often enough that my kids have a pretty good idea of what’s out there.

  46. Melanie Thompson November 9, 2017 at 6:59 am

    My kids have been having so much fun cutting out ideas of what they want from all the gift guides! So many hours of (quiet) fun!

  47. Brenda Penton November 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

    We have the kids go through sites online and find what they would like and then send us the links.

  48. Maritess November 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Our family creates holiday wishes with pictures on it because it is just easier to shop especially during the holiday rush.

  49. Jonnie November 9, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Our holiday wishlist making has changed a lot over the years. When my older kids were younger, they spent hours flipping through the wishbook and copying down what they were hoping for, editing the list regularly as they’d discover something new. As they got older it shifted more to mentioning things their friends had or they saw on TV, now they text me links to things on the internet. My younger kids are just coming up to the age where they grasp the whole idea of presents but they are really good at pointing out what they want when we’re shopping.

  50. Jenn Erin November 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    We give my daughter the holiday flyers/catalogues (Toys R Us, Sears, Canadian Tire, etc) to circle the things she would like. And of course, she gets to write a letter Santa every year, telling him her #1 wish list item.

  51. Florence Cochrane November 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    I love checking out the blogger gift guides and going through flyers to get ideas to make my wish list and my gift list.

  52. Lori L. November 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I have 5 kids so we all sit down while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music and they all write their wish lists!

  53. melissa November 9, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    We sit down and write out a list while flipping through a toy catalog

  54. Jenny B November 9, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Our kiddo isn’t old enough to be able to make lists yet so we take him to the toy store and pay attention to what he gravitates towards. We keep a list on our phone or snap photos of the items!

  55. wendy Hutton November 9, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    we used to go through the Sears christmas wishlist catalog before they quit it, so now we just check the flyers and online stores have their own wishlists

  56. Lisa L November 10, 2017 at 3:45 am

    We look through flyers, circle items, and we draw/make a list of her top 10!

  57. Pam November 10, 2017 at 5:10 am

    he used to write a letter to Santa, now he emails me…
    I keep a list of things I have seen reviewed online that interest me for checking out.

  58. Elena Thompson November 10, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I have my daughter, who is now 5, write a list of things she would like to Santa and then pick from the list. Of course this won’t last much longer, in which I’ll have to switch to an online list. I like the setup for the mastermind toys.

  59. lori b November 10, 2017 at 11:21 am

    when they were younger they would cut out items out of the sears wish list catalog and or flyers, and now they just write down what they would like.

  60. Heather N November 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Our lists are old fashioned and on paper. She can put down as much or as little as she wants, and knows that she won’t get them all.

  61. nicolthepickle (Nicole Graham) November 10, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    We don’t make lists, but my kids love to look at flyers and cut out their favourites.

  62. Joni November 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I used to sit with the Wishbook and ‘pick’ what I wanted. We do one main toy gift, and a few little extra things they neeed

  63. Stephanie November 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    The kids always write a letter to Santa with what they want for Christmas!

  64. ivy pluchinsky November 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    We used to look at the sears wishbook and write down our lists, but this year we looked online and wrote down our wishlists. I love Mastermind toys, they have some amazing products.

  65. Juliee Fitze November 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I have the younger ones cut out the pictures of what they want and glue them on a page.

  66. Ira November 11, 2017 at 12:35 am

    We don’t make lists, my kids just tell me what they like.

  67. Heidi Pawluk November 11, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Love getting the grandkids to come over and we make a wish list, send one to Santa, another wasy we cut out pics from magazines, catalogues and a Christmas wish board.

  68. Katie Archibald November 11, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Love Mastermind Toys! Such a fun store – my kids loved it! When it comes to christmas lists my son typically asks for 3 things and we do our best. We do a board game, a special toy and a shared gift for my son and daughter.

  69. Karine November 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

    They tell me what to buy as they go! Need a better system haha

  70. Jason Tremere November 11, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I grew up using the Sears wishbook, but my son uses YouTube for his shopping ideas. I miss the old Sears method already.

  71. Carla B November 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Growing up it was all about the Sears Wish Book! I’ve seen some parents take photos of the loved items while in the store.

  72. Shirley Shepherd November 12, 2017 at 12:13 am

    We look at lots of magazines and catalogues, and my kids draw their favourite items.

  73. Jenness M November 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    My daughter tells me what she wants and my son goes through flyers and cuts and pastes onto a list.

  74. summer plewes November 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    We write lists each year. Social media has a lot of influence in the kids choices.

  75. BINABUG November 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    All my life we’ve always opened Gifts on Christmas eve, so for my family we opened at least one. I now take the whole week off as one year I was forced to work til 8:30pm, and its only one day a yr, and most of the staff have no small children, so this is my gift to my family.

  76. Soozle November 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    We still do look at the holiday flyers and catalogs that come out; but it’s mostly online now for ideas

  77. Elizabeth November 12, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    We have never done wish lists yet! We just talk about what we want ahead of time.

  78. loriag November 12, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I used this phrase this year with my guys and had them fill in the blanks-
    Something I want _____________
    Something I need _____________
    Something I like _______________
    Something to read ________________

  79. Heather S November 13, 2017 at 12:32 am

    We put Christmas music on, bake cookies together and create them together 🙂

  80. Tanis November 13, 2017 at 3:33 am

    My kids are just getting into that. We ask them question, show them things on the top toys list, etc. As for the big kids, we make lists!

  81. ginette4 November 13, 2017 at 11:20 am

    When the girls were young as soon as the Sears Wish Book arrived they went throughout that book and circled everything that they wanted..now it’s via text messaging..lol

  82. BlessedTA November 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    We decide on what we need.

  83. Cheryl H November 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    They see items in commercials and in YouTube video and they write one idea to santa

  84. nicky November 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    We write wish lists in our letters to Santa!

  85. Josh S November 14, 2017 at 12:21 am

    We write it out on paper…old school style. 🙂

  86. Sunshine G November 14, 2017 at 1:05 am

    We create them from about August onwards whenever one of us sees something we like.

  87. Shelley November 14, 2017 at 7:02 am

    We use flyers & minic atalogues from ToysRUs and now from the newly opened Mastermind Toys. We limit wish lists to 3 items – 2 are usually specific then the 3rd is something like “Doll suprises” which could be clothes, accessories or crafts…

  88. heidi c. November 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I will give the holiday flyers and gift guidez to my kids and then they make their Christmas Wish Lists using them.

  89. leana November 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    We create holiday wishlists with the mastermind toys catalogue!

  90. Barb W November 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Nowadays it’s text, for my son it’s paper and pen.

  91. Sam November 14, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    When i was a kid we would write letters to Santa 🙂
    Now that my son is a kid I am trying to be more creative … lol nothing yet but I am trying lol

  92. Jolie November 15, 2017 at 12:00 am

    My daughter usually looks at catalogues.

  93. elicia p November 15, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Good ole catalogs that come in the post. I love being able to look at hard copy of a item.

  94. rebecca roberts November 15, 2017 at 1:54 am

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