What to buy the 3 year old who has everything

Following hot on the heels (where hot on the heels means two years later) of “What to Buy the Baby Who Has Everything“, comes What to Buy the 3 year old Who Has Everything. The Toddler Formerly Known as Baby N has turned 3, so I guess he’s not really a toddler anymore. He is officially a little boy. For simplicity’s sake let’s call him LB. 

Having already had 3 male 3 year olds (and three 3 year old birthdays and parties already), I have just about every toy a 3 year old could dream of (daytime nap or nighttime long sleep). An extensive Brio & Thomas train track collection. Cars. Enough Duplo to build a small apartment. I have an entire Little People city. Octonauts, complete with Gups and and Octpod. Scooter? Yep. Tricycle? Yep. Sand / water play table? Yep. We have a library of books. We have a marble run. We have a wooden castle. We have a toy kitchen and lots of pretend food, as well as a mini espresso machine (for those early daycare mornings). We have Hot Wheels. We have a singing, playing Elmo, and a singing Iggle Piggle. We have Aquaplay. And most importantly, we have Magnatiles. I could keep going for about 10 pages. 

But you cannot NOT buy your three year old presents just because he is the 4th boy to turn 3 in the house. Yes, I could operate a crèche without having to purchase a thing, but that is not what birthdays are about. It doesn’t matter that LB doesn’t need anything. He’s a little boy and he deserves to open a few presents and have some of his own belongings in a house where everything already belongs to someone else. Especially when this is the first birthday that he understands that it is HIS birthday and HE gets to open and keep the gifts.

So what do you buy this Litte Boy who has everything a little boy could possibly want? 

1. We bought him MORE DUPLO. Yes we did. We hadn’t actually added to our Duplo collection since Cooking Child was 3 – that’s 7 years ago (Master 8 went straight to Lego. By the time he was 2, his brothers were 4 & 6, were Lego obsessed, and so Master-then-2 just joined the Lego brigade). ANYWAY (gosh this is confusing with all these children), I bought this:


With a little digger to go with because LB LOVES diggers.


I seem to have ridiculous luck with Myer toy sales – there always seems to be one the week before my boys’ birthdays. With an extra 10% off for Myer One members (It’s free –  why wouldn’t you join? They send you gift vouchers every few months as a reward for shopping. For shopping. Let’s just go over this again – they reward me for shopping).

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2. Maxi Micro scooter from my in-laws. Almost immediately after LB started walking, he began scooting. Our Mini Micro scooter (a hand me down from Master 8) has really earned its keep (and inflated price tag). But LB is no lightweight, and he is the height of a 5 year old. I imagine that when a child stands on the scooter board, it is supposed to stay flat, not submit into a concave depression. And so we have updated LB to the model that Master 8 still happily zooms around on today. LB calls it his “big boy scooter”. 


We got the silver. Personally I love the  brights but the silver was 25% off at Entropy a few months ago, so that’s what I ordered. Plus the silver is timeless. Classy. For the refined toddler.

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3. My parents bought LB this:


Ever since we went to London 9 months ago, LB has been obsessed with all things London. Especially a book that my cousin gave him while we were there. It’s about 3 animal characters who go through London……in fact I can’t tell you what it’s about because LB has never let me actually read the story to him. Each page features a different famous site so LB simply shrieks “We went there!” and then he provides a bit more information like “WE went on the London eye!”, or “WE went to Buckhingham palace and saw the Queem” (this is not a typo, nor is it strictly true)”, or “WE went to Trafalgar Square and saw the Lion while you were SHOPPING, mummy”. Or my personal favourite “WE went to The British Musuem and saw the Mummies……and the daddies!!”. 

When I saw the London Bus I knew that LB would love it. But there was also a fine looking Fire Engine that I thought he would love, too.

LB has learnt from Cooking Child how to play imaginitively but there is no imaginitive game played in this house without a natural disaster or some dire situation that requires a rescue mission. How well the Fire Engine would fit into our home, and how many great imaginative play opportunities it would present. 

So LB got that too.

You would be extremely surprised how many dangerous situations London Buses can find themselves in, that require emergency assistance from a one man Fire Engine. 

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Then there were the brothers’ presents. Some of you may think that LB had already scored a bountiful loot and should count his little blessings and go and play with his lovely new toys. And you’d be right. BUT my big boys would not accept that he had plenty already – they want to give him their OWN presents. And so the shopping continued.

Cooking Child wanted to give a gift individually. As in he wanted to choose it AND pay for it. And so I suggested:

4. 


$12 from K-Mart. This was the perfect brother present. Cheap and we knew he would love it. Like billions of children, LB loves bubbles. He wants so many, and so often, that I get dizzy and have to sit down from all the deep breathing. Anyone with a toddler knows that the hunt for the holy grail toy (preferably battery free, but hey it was $12), that’s screen free, keeps your toddler entertained for a sustained period of time and does NOT need a parent to participate, is never ending. A bubble machine may well be as close as you are ever going to get. Bonus points for being an outdoor activity. Even more bonus points because LB dances in bubbles so it promotes exercise.

Which leaves:

5. First Born and Master 8 still needed to give LB a present too. And so I went to the TV show gift. LB loves his shows and their associated characters. We could not lose with this. And despite the the fact that he had a bad experience recently meeting real life Duggee, I decided to go with:


after seeing LB mesmerised playing with it in Myer a few weeks ago. Here’s a tip: if you don’t know what to buy your child, take them into a toy department and see what they gravitate towards. Duggee has been a huge success and the only issue with him is his size, and lack of arms to hold him by when LB insists on bringing him out with us, and then insists that I look after Duggee once we’re out.

Anyway that’s a wrap on 3 year old presents, or at least my 3 year old. But you know, same same.

XOXO Shopping Girl
P.S. On writing this blog I have discovered that when I type the letters “LB” my phone autocorrects them to Loom Bands. I am not sure why this is so. But having had to un-autocorrect it each time, I’m thinking maybe the hunt is still on for what to call my 4th child online. This is what it looks like when I leave LB uncorrected: LOOM BANDS.

Style for the people

I have a dirty, little secret. I almost too ashamed to share except that I am so excited about it that I have to. Some of you may be shocked. There’s a particular resident of Gilgandra Rd that may require medical assistance after reading this (someone may like to call a preparatory ambulance?) but, well there are always casualties when secrets are spilled.

Are you ready?

You sure?

Okay here goes…..

I’ve started shopping at K-Mart. And I LOVE it.

(Cue: fainting).

No seriously, have you been?? It’s really quite amazing. Once upon a time I practically showered after a visit to K-Mart if I ever had to go (kids’ camp clothes and the like). Call me a snob (Working Boy does all the time but between you & me, he’s a bigger snob than me. Ah, true love), but that is how it is. Or was, at least.

Now, you still won’t find me sporting the latest big K fashions (though I do have a friend @seemeswoon – check her out on Insta – who throws together inexpensive chain store buys all the time and looks constantly AMAZING) but what you will find me doing is raiding the store for their amazing homewares. 

I seem to be doing a lot of list based posts at the moment but to save you trawling around K-Mart (although it has emerged that there are Facebook groups full of people who LOVE doing just that), here is:

Shopping Girl’s Definitive List of the Ten Best Things to Buy at K-Mart.

1.

Metal Locker bedside table – $29.

$29. Twenty Nine dollars people. I cannot tell you what a bargain this is. I had been searching online for a bedside table for Cooking Child (my children discovered my blog last week, and the child formerly known as J has requested to henceforth be known as Cooking Child) and had my heart set on a locker style. The only problem was that the locker style bedside tables had their hearts set on being in excess of $200. I went to K-Mart to buy beanbag beans (see below) and lo and behold I could not believe my EYES when I saw this little beauty just sitting there, humbly, for $29. Into the trolley it went.

2.


Cement base lamp – $10

So cheap, you should buy two. In fact I’m going to have to because I bought this lamp so quickly I didn’t stop to consider where in the house it would actually go. I have since decided that it is perfect as a bedside table lamp in mine and Working Boy’s room, but now I need one for each side of our bed. We are symmetrical people.  

3.


Stainless Steel Shaped Jug – $15

I had been lusting after a very similar jug on the Peters of Kensignton website which cost around $189. Or given that in actuality my lusty thoughts on pitchers are extremely few and far between, some may say non-existent, let’s just say I really quite liked it. Considering how much entertaining we do, we have a disproportionality small number of jugs, and what’s more, the two we have are small. I bought two of these as well. Now I can have one at both ends of the table. As I said, we’re symmetrical people. 

4.

50cm Fire Pit with stand – $39

They say that art imitates life but can life imitate decor? I haven’t bought this yet. But if I did it would make me the sort of person who spontaneously has friends over, where we hang outside, drinking wine, someone’s playing guitar and we’re sitting around a fire pit (preferably on floor cushions)…..it all sounds so relaxed and so un-i-have-4-children. Plus we would become the marshmallow toasting capital of Bellevue Hill.

5. 


Paper Plates – Pastel Foil $3 (16 in pack)

I always feel a bit bad when I use disposable plates. There’s the environmental impact. There’s the cost. And then there’s the fact that I must already have a huge amount of washing up to do, or I wouldn’t be resorting to disaposables. That makes me feel really, REALLY bad. 

These, however, make me feel happy. Like I’m having a party. And I mind setting the table just a little bit less when I’m setting it with these plates. 

6. 


Canisters: small – $5, large $7

There are SO many places in the house that could benefit from some pretty canisters. If we could just fill a large one with lead pencils and a small one with erasers, the daily call of “do you know where a pencil / rubber is?” and subsequent 10 minute homework avoiding search, could be eradicated. Without compromising my house design aesthetic. 

7.


4 Piece Cityscape Activity Floor Mat $16.00

This playmat screams “YOUR CHILD WILL SIT AND PLAY ON ME IMAGINATIVELY FOR HOURS WITH HIS MATCHBOX CARS AND WON’T EVEN MENTION THE IPAD”. That sounds like a good deal for $16 to me.  When First Born was born, playmats did not look nearly so pretty, or so fun. It’s a designer mat with a non-designer price. 


8.


Teardrop bean bag – Grid extra large – $25

I actually already bought a beanbag. From Typo. I was at K-mart buying the beans when I spied this super-size bag. Sometimes being plus-sized can be a disadvantage in life…..not when you’re a beanbag. Who would NOT want to sink into a quite chic oversized beanbag? This would look fab in First Born’s room. But First Born, you have your own cash, so buy it yourself.
9.Felt Storage Box with Lid – $6

We all know I am a massive fan of storage options. Would you rather have random open boxes of Lego lying around or some smart grey felt boxes? With a leather strap? I know what I prefer. Conceal the chaos, shoppers. 
10.

Be gone IKEA Billy – there’s a new favourite shelving system in town. I’m partial to a little pegboard. This one has little shelves. I already bought a pegboard at Typo and when I saw this I was devastated that I could have had a pegboard/ shelving combo…..but now I see that Typo must have also gone to K-Mart (all the cool people are) and had the exact same reaction, for they have released little shelves that you can buy as an accessory to your peg board. 
11. 

Wall LED Decor – Lightning, White $9

I know I said 10 but I just couldn’t limit myself, so consider this your bonus buy. Plus number 10 was more about Typo than it was about K-Mart so it didn’t really seem fair. 

Not so long ago this sort of thing cost well over $100. I don’t know who has a couple of hundred bucks to drop on a fun light for their kid’s room but it’s not me (because I already spent it on a dress). That is why I love you K-Mart – you are democratising decor. 

XOXO Shopping Girl