IMG_1201.JPGYou’re probably looking for great ideas for Hanukkah gifts for your children. And maybe you don’t want to spent $37 on alef-bet blocks like the folks over at Kveller. So, here’s a list of gift ideas bound to keep your children busy for the next year, based on my scientific market research. (I took some notes about what my girls played with a lot this week.)

1. A bag of lentils ($.79, eco-friendly)
This became both a play telephone and a baby during dinner last week. Caution: do not let children open bag and put lentils in nose or ears. Note: Also good for soup.
2. Polystyrene (free, not so eco-friendly)
Yesterday, Zoe, my five year old, made a dress, a scarf, and a three dimensional picture of a cow for her best friend out of one long sheet of polystyrene. Caution: should not be eaten, in soup or otherwise.
3. Old baby toys (also free. Potentially annoying.)
Every once in a while I agree to let my children come into the attic with me. There, they spot the baby toys I have stowed away for….well, I have no idea what for. Down come the Playskool Press and Pop toy, the plastic key ring, the Fisher price Rock a stack, the Little Tikes “piano”, and all those things that made Mozart sound crappy. Tip: Do not replace dead batteries. Second tip: First tip will not help with the “piano.”
mozart cube.jpg
4. Your clothes (free, until you have to replace them)
My children have a drawer full of costumes. They prefer to tromp around the house for hours in my Uggs, my shirts, my sweaters, and of course, my bras (as hats.)
5. Boxes and bubble wrap (Free. Sort of)
The only good reason to actually go out and buy presents. 
 Alas, none of these items will be on sale on Black Friday.
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