Toy-store-with-kid strategy: Email Santa with gift ideas
Let's put aside for a second Darryl's smart and creative wish list hack because AWWWWWW, LOOK AT HIS DAUGHTER! If I actually knew Darryl and it weren't creepy, I'd buy that dress for her right on the spot. Which would defeat the purpose of this hack and totally undermine Darryl's parental authority.
Back to the matter at hand. If you find yourself in a store with your kids (say, you're buying a gift for a friend's birthday or for a certain upcoming holiday) and they find something beg-worthy, here's a twist on the "take a picture of it for the wish list" hack we published a while back:
I'm sure every parent dreads shopping in any store with a toy department because they know it will end up with tears and probably an embarrassing tantrum. Everyone knows you can't talk sense into a 5-year old in a toy store, so the 5 minute trip to the store ends up taking an hour. When my kids start begging for a toy, and I feel the negotiations are about to begin, I just pull out my iPhone and tell them to pose with the toy and I'll take a picture and "email it to Santa." I show them the picture, they put the toy back (instinctively, which is funny), and we're on our way. Parent: 1, Kids: 0! This has worked for years every time on all 3 of my kids (ages 3 to 6 to right now).
This is even more useful during the holidays. Not only do you end up with dozens of cute, smiling photos of your kids throughout the year, but you can actually email the photos to grandparents or aunts and uncles who don't know what gifts to buy. It also helps me remember what they wanted, and when Santa comes through with some of the gifts, it renews this hack another year until the next Christmas.
An enhancement on this hack is to use your phone's video recorder. I get them to say their name, the name of the toy, and what they did or will do to deserve it. So cute!