The countdown to the big day has began.  Children everywhere are being threatened by the no show of the man in red.  Lists are being compiled and passed from relative to relative.  Your own list of things to buy is longer than the queues at the Next sale.  You have to face the horror that is Christmas shopping.  The most stressful part of Christmas shopping is Christmas shopping with your children.  Make the store a toy store and you have entered the depths of hell.


Allow me to brighten up this years Christmas toy shopping experience with what I like to call Toy Shop Bingo.


Toy Shop Bingo Game


“Mummy can I have that?”

Said on average every 4.2 seconds of your visit.


“Mummy If I’m Really really good can I get one of these?”

Small person tactic change #21.  After you have issued lots of “no” and “We’ll see” answers to their requests.  Usually deployed with puppy dog eyes.


“No, That’s too old for you.”

Standard response for any toy you deem inappropriate, too messy, or too noisy.


“Isn’t that a bit babyish for you now?”

Standard response for any toy you deem over priced.


“You have one just like it at home.”

…buried under a pile of other very similar toys.


“We’ll see.”

Said with an inward cringe as you know you sound just like your mother.


“Do you really think you’d play with that?”

Said when you know the infatuation will last for no longer than ten minutes.


“It’s a bit big.”

Translation: Where the hell am I supposed to put that?


“Take that out of the trolley NOW.”

When the small people are turning feral on you.


“I’m bored.”

Warning: Countdown to meltdown.  Speed up the shopping and administer snacks immediately.



Small person tactic change #42.  Beg.


“How much!?”

Normally said with a few curse words muttered under your breath.  Also happens to be the number one toy depicted in your small persons letter to Father Christmas.


“I don’t think Granny really wants an Elsa doll for Christmas.”

In response to small person tactic change #101.  Buy it for someone else who will let me play with it.


“Lets ask someone for help.”

When you have found the location of the toy you need and the shelf is empty.


“Does anyone actually work in this shop?”

Normally proceeds “Lets ask someone for help.”


“If you are really good you can ask Father Christmas for that.”

Said whilst frantically trying to remember all the requests the small people are making and wondering where you are going to hide all this stuff before the big day.


“Please don’t touch that.”

Normally shouted just before your small person knocks over an entire toy display.


“Where’s the Mulled Wine?”

Normally shouted just after your small person knocks over an entire toy display.


If that leaves you in any doubt as to whether you should attempt to enter a toy store with your small people, ask yourself the following questions…



Toy Store


Enjoy the Christmas shopping!


Head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win* a £10 voucher for The Disney Store, courtesy of The Marlands Shopping Centre in Southampton.


*Competition open to UK entries only and closes on the 13th December 2015.


This post was featured on Mumsnet and Tots100


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23 Comments on Toy Shop Bingo

  1. El
    December 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm (11 months ago)

    Hahaha, hilarious and too true. That’s why I don’t ever bring my children shopping with me, even if I have wine. That’s a cruel and unusual form of torture loaded with too many “Please”. “bored”, “Go home now” for me! It is a punishment I usually reserve for my partner when he rolls his eyes and asks me what do I really do with the kids all day? Thank you for hosting #fridayfrolics
    El recently posted…A bit of Everything Week 9My Profile

  2. lizzie ( firstooth )
    December 12, 2015 at 8:34 am (11 months ago)

    I wish I had a regift drawer! Funny post I hate shopping with children their boredom and tantrums are too much to.cope with especially during the Christmas rush. My children tend to just pop things in the trolly or basket. Thanks for hosting #fridayfrolics

  3. This Mum's Life
    December 12, 2015 at 6:22 am (11 months ago)

    Hehe, I love the flow chart!!!! I haven’t braved a full on shopping trip for multiple items with mine yet, by the gazillionth ‘can I have that?’ My patience would be in tatters! We have done pretty much all of it online this year! And this year my eldest is old enough to understand ‘do you want me to cancel your bike from Santa??’ But I fear I say it so often it’s already a known empty threat…!

  4. Anna Brophy
    December 12, 2015 at 12:00 am (11 months ago)

    I stupidly thought I was organised this year…it would seem not. Even when you do get a rare child free chance to shop, you spend half the allocated time driving around looking for a car park. Need a good dose of a Christmas movie to get my inner elf sparkling…that and wine…#FridayFrolics
    Anna Brophy recently posted…THE 5 STAGES OF GASTROMy Profile

  5. Jessica Powell
    December 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm (11 months ago)

    Haha, love this! We have all this to come as she has no idea what it’s all about this year… next year we won’t be getting off so lightly! ;D #fridayfrolics
    Jessica Powell recently posted…Guide to Rainbow MerchandiseMy Profile

  6. Silly Mummy
    December 11, 2015 at 5:00 pm (11 months ago)

    Haha – great game! I’m inexperienced & keep tripping myself up on the Father Christmas thing! ‘Well, maybe I will get you that for Christmas, you’ll have to see…I mean Father Christmas will…I’ll ask Father Christmas for you…Or we’ll get it but some presents are from Father Christmas…er…’ Fortunately, they are too young to really notice my discrepancies! Would be easier if I could shop on my own, though! #fridayfrolics
    Silly Mummy recently posted…A Wayne in a Manger and Other Christmas WeirdnessMy Profile

  7. Lucinda | twintown
    December 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm (11 months ago)

    Thank goodness for online shopping…and a free Amazon Prime trial. Woot! If I do find myself having no choice but to enter a shop with my two year old twins I will try to make it far more entertaining by adopting your idea of Toy Shop Bingo. (Although I may have to adapt it to suit my toddlers vocabulary ‘No’ ‘Daddy’ ‘Cat’ and ‘Woof woof’ should do it. 🙂 #FridayFrolics

  8. Catie: An imperfect mum
    December 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm (11 months ago)

    Love the info graphic just fab. My boys are getting big and want computer stuff that always comes with a hefty price tag. So bloody annoying! At least with 2 boys we can do shared gifts too on expensive things. I agree with Sam that online shopping is the way. I won’t be entering any toy shops with my two. The big lad can’t handle them very well under normal circumstances never mind at Christmas. At least toys R us were doing some autism friendly times without music, sharp lights or tannoys. Great idea!
    Catie: An imperfect mum recently posted…Weekly roundup #15My Profile

  9. Suzanne
    December 11, 2015 at 11:35 am (11 months ago)

    Ha ha I LOVE your flow chart at the end, so so true! I NEVER go with my kids now which is absolutely bliss. They get harder and harder to buy for though sadly. I kind of miss that stroll around Toys R Us….actually no I don’t, how am I kidding?!
    Suzanne recently posted…Treats, Trips Out and Testing Times {Take 5 Friday}My Profile

  10. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods)
    December 11, 2015 at 10:00 am (11 months ago)

    Lol this is exactly why I have done all my Christmas shopping online this year. It’s a little more expensive what with paying out for delivery charges but trust me it’s well worth it 😉

  11. Robyn
    December 11, 2015 at 7:57 am (11 months ago)

    Very funny! I can tell you have a lot of experience in this department by how comprehensive this list is. I especially love that your kids can’t pull the wool over your eyes with the old why-don’t-we-give-this-thing-I-want-to-someone-else?! I love online shopping and only go to town in the weekends when I have my husband for moral support! #picknmix

  12. Pickinguptoys
    December 11, 2015 at 7:38 am (11 months ago)

    Well that’s me with a full house!I’ve definitely said all of these!I even avoid the toy aisle in Asda on a normal shop these days,gives me a right headache!! x #fridayfrolics

  13. Becky (@EducatingR)
    December 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm (11 months ago)

    Hilarious. I started shopping for my son when i randomly fell upon a sainsbury’s toy sale! Luckily he’s 18mo and doesn’t have a club about xmas really, or presents. I’ve got it all to come and I’ll be shopping alone when it does! Far easier! #CoolMumClub

  14. Charlotte
    December 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm (11 months ago)

    I REFUSE to go toy shopping any more in favour of online – a lot less stressful and none of the fear of sounding like my mother!! :p #Coolmumclub
    Charlotte recently posted…Letters From Santa +FREE PRINTABLEMy Profile

  15. mummuddlingthrough
    December 10, 2015 at 9:56 am (11 months ago)

    Online Online Online is my mantra! Shipping costs worth every single penny 😉 Love the decision tree at the end… Thanks for linking up with #coolmumclub
    mummuddlingthrough recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 10My Profile

  16. Sam
    December 8, 2015 at 9:42 pm (11 months ago)

    Oh how I love your flow chart Claire 🙂 I have to say I would *never* take my kids into a toy store – not after what happened in the toy aisle in Sainsburys. £15 is not my idea of ‘a pocket money toy’. *sigh* Online all the way! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout X
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #55My Profile


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