Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shopping for lil ones

We are off to India next week, for 2 weeks. So this Sunday afternoon I spent at the mall, going from store to store, shopping for my hundreds of little nieces and nephews, ages ranging from new born to 19 years old! Considering that I have no idea whats out there for kids, I thought it would be easy. Since I didn't know their sizes, I could get some 'cool' toys for the little ones and 'something' a little grownup for the older ones. Would you imagine the state of shock I was in a few hours later, when I had flitted in and out of at least 10 different kinds of stores, armed with tons of knowledge of what different age children like/dislike and whats in and whats not?
When I was a kid, it was easy. I had a Lego set, a few dolls, a 'ghar ghar' set and tons of books. That's it. That was what I played with for a long long time. There were a girl in my neighborhood whose dad had been to the US a few times, and she had a doll House and she would invite us 'lesser children' over for a doll party and would graciously agree to let our dolls sleep over in her doll house. Boy did we feel jealous of our dolls? Well I had a flash of my simple growing up days when I was traversing the aisles of the Disney store in the mall. Confused about what to do, I asked for help. Did you know there are 'Toddlers', 'Pre-teens' and 'Teens' among children?
For toddlers(that's ages 1-3), Winnie the Pooh is really popular and they also like a soft toy thing. One look at the thing (it was an animeish soft toy) and I almost ran out of the store. It had angry eyes. I wouldn't think any human being, let alone a toddler, would like it. Winnie the Pooh I knew so I grabbed a few Poohs. Another toy that is in for little girls is a teeny tiny handbag with a tiny tiny soft-toy dog in it! Kind of like what the celebrities carry!
Preteen girls really like Hannah Montana and there was some other character I now forget. There were also a few toy sets that were called 'My favorite fashion designer' and 'Design a dress'. Really? You expect young girls to have a favorite fashion designer? I was so shocked looking at the kind of things in the market for little girls.
Preteen boys tend to like Lego blocks and Wall-E robots and indoor helicopter are really in. The toys for both boys and girls reinforces the stereotypes about sexes!
I then asked the person helping me, to suggest something for the teens on my list. All she had to suggest was iPods, video games and movies!
Sigh, I miss the simple life!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I like to receive comments, positive, negative or otherwise.