The Perfect Gift for a Toddler

So I’m sure you’ve experienced this…you put a lot of thought into what would be the “perfect gift” for your toddler and they wind up more interested in the box it came in. Sound familiar? Here’s my own recent experience with this.

My wife and I did a lot of research into getting Lil’ E (who is 17 months old) the “perfect gift” that would give him years of enjoyment. We decided on a red wagon. Being a typical guy and a tech geek I researched online, weighed the different options available on different models, did some comparison price shopping once we had narrowed it down to the wagon we wanted and I purchased it. This is not just any wagon; this thing is the Cadillac of wagons. It has big tires so he can easily pull it across our gravel driveway or the lawn. He’ll be able to haul dirt, toys, sticks, the dog & pretty much anything he could think to put in it. It has high walls so he can get rides in it while he is still little but the walls can be removed fairly easily for when he is older and decides he wants to try racing the wagon down an incredibly steep hill (not that I’m speaking from personal experience here). This wagon is the bomb-diggity with everything you could want in a wagon except 20 inch chrome rims and a GPS system.

We wrapped it and put it under the tree. In the week before Christmas it sat under the tree, Lil’ E kept running up to the box and banging on it with a smile. My wife and I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning for him to open it.

Finally Christmas arrived! So what was his favorite gift under the tree? A $5 plastic shovel. He walked all around the house pushing the shovel in front of him and carrying it around proudly.

Later in the afternoon on Christmas, my wife’s family came over to exchange gifts and the house looked like Santa’s sleigh exploded in our living room. Literally every square inch of floor had a gift on it. My sister-in-law came over with her twins that are a month older than Lil’ E. What did they all fight over playing with?

The infernal $5 plastic shovel.

I know come springtime the wagon is going to be one of his favorite toys and he will get years of enjoyment out of it. I just found it all incredibly funny and not at all how I had played it out in my head.

So what about you? What toy were you excited to have your toddler open only to find them more interested in something you didn’t think would be a big deal?

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