How To Build Your Christmas Toy List at Mastermind Toys: A Kid’s Take

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

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It is not an exaggeration to suggest that I slept with Christmas catalogs growing up. Marking pages in the toys section was pretty much my first full-time job. I’d pour over the pages systematically looking for toys I wanted for Christmas. then I’d write them all down and purge my list, formulating a fool-proof letter to Santa that sometimes got addressed and sometimes did not.

It’s also not an exaggeration to suggest that I snooped for those gifts every year. Nor is it wrong to suggest that when I found them, I’d unwrap them, play with them, then put them back in the “hiding spot.” It is family lore that my brother and I were so good at playing Jaws on the Nintendo on Christmas morning even though we had “never played it before.” Of course, we had. Every morning for two weeks leading up to Christmas before my parents woke up.

My time has come and gone. But I have kids who religiously look for toys now. So I thought I could give you some tips on how to find the right toys for your holiday wishlist but realized my days as an expert are over.

Tips For Kids By Kids

My Tips As a Parent Who Was Once A Kid

Kids are liars and sneakers and thieves. That we buy presents at all is a miracle they should be grateful for. Just kidding(ish).

  1. Boobytrap your hiding spots to ensure knowledge of the break-in if not at least complete concealment. Leave your hiding place dusty (this is easy if like us you never dust your house). Then you will find their little paws marks all over your spot.
  2. Listen to the number of times they say “really” when describing how badly they want a toy. “Really, really,” isn’t as strong as “really, really, really,” wanting something.
  3. When in doubt, buy science experiment toys.
  4. The things in Mastermind Toys you would have loved as a kid are likely things they will like as well.
  5. May daughter already said it but it’s worth reminding: there are now girl toys or boy toys, there are only toys your child enjoys playing with.

Get inspiration from Mastermind Toys’ Holiday Gift Guide

Mastermind Toys has a team of buyers who look under actual rocks all over the world to find the very best toys, games and books for kids of all kinds. Their holiday gift guide is available in their stores and online and is thoughtfully laid out based on kids’ ages and interests, making it super to find the perfect gifts.

Shop online anytime using Mastermind Toys’ Gift Finder tool

It’s easier than ever to find the perfect gift at filter your search by age, category, budget and more. With categories like science, brain busters, LEGO, and dolls to choose from, you’ll probably end up ordering something for yourself too. And for a small fee, you can choose wrapping paper and write a personalized tag for your gifts.

Visit your local Mastermind Toys store and get help from their friendly and knowledgeable Toy Experts

interior of a mastermind toys store

Visit any of their 59 locations across Canada and chat with the friendly, knowledgeable staff.They’ll be able to offer great suggestions for kids of any age, stage and interest. Bonus: free festive gift
wrapping in every store, and that signature curly bow. Find a store near you.


I can tell, you’ve browsed all this stuff and now you want it all. Here’s your chance to win a $150 Mastermind Toys gift card to do just that.

mastermind toys gift cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 19 at 11:59pm EST. No purchase necessary. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.

72 responses to “How To Build Your Christmas Toy List at Mastermind Toys: A Kid’s Take”

  1. Joanne Weir says:

    Great tips!! Finding the presents was half the fun of Christmas!!!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Love the ‘only at mastermind’ play mobile selection for my toddler. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Bekah says:

    I’ve been eyeing this for my kiddos
    We have so many building toys so obviously I should buy them more!

  4. M. Lemke says:

    I think you meant to say ‘not’ instead of ‘now’ in this sentence: “May daughter already said it but it’s worth reminding: there are now girl toys or boy toys, there are only toys your child enjoys playing with.”

  5. Maryanne says:

    My son really wants an RC but needs something durable. Like this

  6. trixie dotson says:

    I think my son would really enjoy this push toy.

  7. Colleen Scott says:

    Love looking around Mastermind with my kids. This g/c would definitely come in handy when shopping there. Thanks for all the tips! Happy Christmas Shopping everyone. May your wishes and dreams also come true as you are making sure happen for your kiddos this season.

  8. Cynthia j sepulveda says:

    I need all the tips on gifts this year. I’m slacking

  9. Brenda Penton says:

    I’d love to get the Meccano MeccaSpider for my son.

  10. Lori L. says:

    So many great items but I will confess, I have never visited Mastermind Toys as they are on the other side of the city from me. After browsing their website I think I need to make a special trip to pick up some unique gifts for my 5 daughters! My 4 and 6 year old daughters keep asking for these for Christmas and I think they would really love the 4M Mould & Paint Glitter Cupcake Tea Party as well! Thanks for the chance to win, this would be super helpful on my tight Christmas budget this year.

  11. Too funny about the Jaws game. You were terrible. Hahah.
    The Light up Newtons Cradle is so cool. I’m not sure my kids are ready for it but I want them to be.

  12. Judy Cowan says:

    Found this Our Generation OG Off Roader 4×4 Car with Bluetooth, I know my niece would love this!

  13. Jolie says:

    My daughter would really love the Codenames Game

  14. Jodi M says:

    Would love to win this and donate it to an inner city school.

  15. Finding the best deals is awesome I know my son would just LOVE this scooter. Thanks!

  16. Stephanie says:

    There are so many great toys! I’m going to have to get the Hatchimals!

  17. Jennpup says:

    I took your tip and got INSPIRED by the Masterminds Holiday Gift Guide. Now the Moonlite Storytime Projector is #1 on my list!

  18. Maritess S says:

    I am never in doubt when I pick this construction toy because my youngest loves, loves building and I know he will surely spend many hours playing with this toy: Meccano Super Construction Set

  19. Lynn Clayton says:

    my kido would go nuts for this

  20. Lynn Clayton says:

    my son would love the ninjago boat from lego

  21. Carla B says:

    love the science experiment toys! how much fun would this be?!

  22. favgreen(Rhonda W G.) says:

    My 8 year old godson would enjoy this…He gave me a collection of his rocks!

  23. I know my grandkids would love the Alex Super Sand Digger, I would never of found this toy without the guide!

  24. Lori a Galbraith says: I found Catan Game Traders and Barbarians Game Expansion Pack by using your EXTREMELY USEFUL tips.

  25. aly3360 says:

    My nieces would love to find the Cra-Z-Slimy Deluxe Set under the tree.

  26. Heather N says:

    I love the kid friendly dart board, but dd is all about the slime

  27. ginette4 says:

    Sorry I cannot post a link because my laptop won’t open the page (I did my search on my iPad)

    The wood-featured rocker handcrafted in Europe (Poland) mastermind number 205535 would be amazing for our grand-daughter

  28. leana says:

    My daughter would love this product suggested 🙂

  29. Angela September Smith says:

    it recommended this for my son for active play for 11+

  30. Florence Cochrane says:

    I found some this amazing Robotic Arm Building Kit. My grandson would love it.

  31. lisa bolduc says:

    I want to get this to make bedtime stories fun

  32. FrugalFowers says:

    My 8 year old son has a love of reading and this would be amazing for him. such great tips.

  33. Nina says:

    Perfect timing–I’m getting requests for ideas from grandparents already!

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