The town in which I grew up had three toy stores. Two of them were large chain stores and we didn’t get to go to them very often because they were on the other side of town and not particularly near any other stores that we had ever had much of a need to visit. However, there was a small toy store near the foot of the bridge, by the train station in the old town centre, near to where we lived. Between the ages of about 5 and 10, this shop was my favourite place in the entire universe. There were toys out of their boxes and you could play with things without feeling like you were being watched. I always managed to find something in budget. It was great.
But like all good things, the small toy shop – and the two chain stores – came to an end and closed down. In my twelfth year, my hometown became bereft of toy stores (if you have similar issues with finding a toy store, try online – see Wicked Uncle, for example). Knowing that toy stores can sometimes be hard to find, we’re going to look at a couple of gift ideas that don’t necessarily require a physical toy store.
Tickets to what, exactly? Well, that’s up to you. While you’re probably thinking that you don’t really want to endure an expensive day out at a sporting event, only for your grandchild to be more interested in the hotdog than the game, there are multiple options out there – arenas are seldom empty on almost any day of the week. Think monster trucks. Think Disney shows. Think any live action arena tour with superheroes flying through the stadium on wires.
There are plenty of touring musical versions of children’s movies and books, too. And don’t forget the circus. The entertainment industry is no slouch. Organisers know that you want something to spend your money and time on with your grandchildren, and they are out there offering a wide range of live shows, you just have to find them. The easiest thing to do is look up what’s touring at your local arena. You may be surprised with the amount of shows that you think both you and your grandchild may enjoy together.
Don’t worry, you get to go home and leave your grandchild making noise that you don’t have to put up with. Depending on their age, certain musical instruments may be more advisable than others. For example, guitar requires a lot of muscle memory and finger reach, so is probably not the best idea for a 5 year old. Keyboards are easy enough to get started with … as are drums, if you’re brave enough!
If all else fails though and you have limited time to find your gift, the best thing to do is always browse toy sites online – there are options for everyone on there and you can find things you’d never have thought of originally.
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