Gift Ideas For Boys, Sneaky Shopping Tips & A Target Gift Card Giveaway

Target recently gave me a gift card and sent me on a Christmas shopping mission with my kids to one of their stores. My challenge? Be a kids’ gift detective and purchase toys for my boys without them knowing.

Sometimes shopping for kids can be hard. Jacob and Lucas tell me they want everything that they see on television so it’s not always easy to decide which gifts they want the most. With Sinisa working so much it’s also difficult for me to find time to go shopping. While I do a lot of my shopping online, I’ve found that sometimes I just prefer the shopping experience in-real-life instead of online.

Target gave me some great ideas on how I could shop with my children without them knowing. Here are the ideas I was given:

  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 1: While shopping at Target for your everyday needs, indulge your kids with a stroll down the toy aisle. As they interact and point out toys they like such as the Air Hogs Atmosphere, you can easily pull out your smartphone and use the Target app to purchase it right there in the toy aisle without them ever knowing it.
  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 2: For an upcoming shopping trip, bring the other parent, friend or grandparent who can bring the kids to a different part of the store for a snack while you make purchases of the gifts. Or, doing your shopping with the kids’ while in plain sight and tell your kids the items are being given to a cousin or friend, so your kids won’t even realize the gift is for them.
  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 3: Enlist your kids in the shopping fun. Want a sneaky way to find out exactly what your kids want for the holidays while also shopping for a good cause? Tell your kids you’re shopping for gifts to donate to a local charity, and have them pick out the toys to donate. Your kids will love scanning the aisles for their favorite items, like the Flutterbye Flying Fairy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles R/C Shellraiser. Little do they know that the items you’re picking out will also be the gifts they’ll find under the tree. To make sure they don’t blow your cover, you can drop off items you bought at your local charity and order the items online that they picked out for their Christmas gifts.
  • Kid’s Gift Detective Tip 4: If you don’t have a partner in crime to help during your covert shopping trip, make sure to disguise or hide the items you put in your cart. When you arrive at the store, line your cart with “undesirables” (like jumbo packs of frozen Brussels sprouts or books about manners) so your kids can’t see the real gems hidden inside. You can also swing by the container aisle to convert your cart into a covert shopping storage machine. Just place one big, closeable bin into the basket and add their wish list items to the bin while you wheel through the aisles.

For my shopping trip, I decided to focus on my 5 year old’s gift ideas. I seem to be full of gift ideas for preschoolers but for some reason that next year up is harder. He’s too big for preschool toys but too young for many elementary toys. I went along the lines of #2 and told him I wanted him to show me 5 toys that he thought his friends wanted most for Christmas. At his age, his “friends” wants are still suspiciously the same as what he wants ;)

Here were his choices:

Skylanders is #1 on Jacob’s list. The newest game out is Skylanders Swap Force which he loves. Really anything Skylanders will do!
Angry Birds Telepods toys go with the phone app and are a big hit in our house as well.
Switch & Go Dinos were mentioned a few months ago and here he shares again that they’d be in his top 5. Vehicles that turn into dinosaurs? Pretty cool!
Jacob got this Hot Wheels Set for his birthday. Cars are always a hit with this age group!

This LeapPad bundle tied with the Nintendo 3DS as a top electronic gift. For the LeapPad Jake thought a 5 year old boy would like a SpongeBob game the most and his top 3DS game was Pokemon. 

Target also shares some of their top gifts for boys in that age range. They are:

  • 4-pk. Disney Planes Die-Cast Gift Set (Target Exclusive)
  • Imaginext Justice League Javelin (Target Exclusive)
  • Angry Birds Go Pirate Ship
  • Kidtrax SRT Viper 6-Volt Ride-On Car
  • MEGA Bloks Hot Wheels Super Stunt Test Facility
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles R/C Shellraiser
  • Zoomer

So many great gift ideas! Need help figuring out how to hide all of the fabulous gifts? Don’t worry because Target has ideas about how to do that as well! Find them all here.


One reader will win a $25 Target Gift Card


{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me a sneaky shopping tip you have

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Share a picture of yourself using the Target Kids’ Gift Detective tips on Twitter.

Use the #MyKindofHoliday hashtag to tag your pictures.

4) Subscribe to this blog

5) Comment on another one of my posts

Giveaway ends December 20, 2013 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: As stated above, Target gave me a gift card to use. All thoughts are my own.)


  1. I shop online and hide the gifts in a locked closet.

  2. My best tip is using apps to find coupons to save on the items I plan to purchase.

  3. I subscribe to your blog via email.

  4. Confirmed email subscriber

  5. shared on pinterest–

  6. Sandra VanHoey says

    We too have done basically what you have only telling my grandson we were looking for things for his cousins. We had a few ties he found things and we told him the same story, it was for his cousin who is his age

  7. Sandra VanHoey says
  8. Sandra VanHoey says

    I am an email subscriber

  9. A sneaky shopping tip is to compare prices between stores to get the best deal, or get your local store to match a competitors price!

  10. I subscribe to your emails.

  11. I pretty much do all of my shopping online which is pretty sneaky I guess


  12. I would ask them to help shop for their cousins, who were also their same age, then I would know what they really wanted and go back later to purchase.

  13. i usually shop on cyber monday and I hide the presents in our storage closet up high with blankets and sheets over them.

  14. email subscriber

  15. I subscribe to your blog updates

  16. online shopping makes it easy

  17. subscriber

  18. shared on fb


  19. subscriber to your blog


  20. buy gifts online and sometimes get them delivered to my job, so no one knows about it

  21. email subscriber

  22. I shop online so my kids can’t see me buying them gifts

  23. I subscribe to your emails

  24. I shop online and hide gifts in the garage before the big day.

  25. -

  26. I am a subscriber

  27. I use the bottom rack of the cart. But my kid is only two, so being sly is easy still. Sort of…

  28. Subscribe using bloglovin

  29. im a email subscriber

  30. buying online and keepin the gifts hide work for me

  31. debbie jackson says

    My tip is shop with them and go back and buy it when they are in school

  32. I like to hide gifts inside a cooler in my trunk because I know I am the only one who looks back there.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  33. tweet–

  34. I am an e-mail subscriber!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  35. I shop online throughout the year when I see sales and put things in my gift closet. Legos seem to be something that fits a large age range and always a hit with boys it seems.

  36. I’m an email subscriber

  37. I am an email subscriber-

  38. Cheryl Abdelnour says


  39. Cheryl Abdelnour says
  40. Cheryl Abdelnour says


  41. Daily Woman (Lacey) says

    Buy online and get the mail first.

  42. Daily Woman (Lacey) says
  43. Sneaky shopping tip? Well, I do the majority of my Christmas shopping online and am pretty good at finding discount codes! In stores, I always hit the sale racks first. (and at places like Target, I checkout the endcaps of the aisles… usually there are clearance items there.)

  44. I hide the gifts at work.

  45. I subscribe by email

  46. I have gifts shipped to grandma’s.

  47. I follow this blog on feedly.

  48. my tip is to order as much online as you can! has awesome deals (sometimes cheaper than Walmart) and free shipping for a lot of items $35 or more

  49. I subscribe to your emails

  50. i dont shop i just win blog giveaways :) have not shopped for 3 yrs now

  51. confirmed email subby

  52. Alisha Kostiuk says

    I ask my boys to pick out things and then buy them and tell them it is for the other sibling works like a charm.

  53. Oh boy, I don’t have too many sneaky shopping tips. I am usually the one sneaking around!

  54. I subscribe to your blog!!

  55. I commented on your Creative Kids gift ideas – too cute!

  56. Jennifer Reed says

    One sneaky shopping tip to get the best price for online shopping is to watch constantly for coupon codes to lower the price or get free shipping.

  57. Jennifer Reed says

    I am an email subscriber.

  58. I shop when the kids are in school and wrap right away!

  59. Email subscriber.

  60. When my kids were young I would take off my coat and put it in the buggy. Everything I didn’t want them to see went under the coat. LOL

  61. email subscriber

  62. I shop while they sleep at night!

  63. I’m an email subscriber.

  64. I do their shopping online, and if going to the store I make it sound like I’m going for boring shopping.

  65. email subscriber to your blog.

  66. Nicole Carter says

    When the kids were little we would just have 2 carts my boyfriend would pack them off in one direction and I would go another and buy the stuff, pack out to the car and then meet up with them later.

  67. Nicole Carter says
  68. Nicole Carter says

    I am a email subscriber using email

  69. Thomas Murphy says

    I do all my shopping online and have it shipped to my work so no one will see it.

  70. Thomas Murphy says
  71. Thomas Murphy says

    I Subscribe to your email as rounder9834

  72. I combine sales, store coupons, and manufacturer coupons.

  73. I subscribe by email.

  74. I subscribed via email.

  75. I don’t really have any sneaky tips other than regifting or gifting things that I got free.

  76. my sneaky tip is take kids and just walk around and watch what they look at

  77. email subscriber

  78. I do a lot of shopping online.

  79. Natalie yeoman says

    Using tons of coupons when shopping


  1. Gift Ideas For Boys, Sneaky Shopping Tips & A Target Gift Card Giveaway…

    Target recently gave me a gift card and sent me on a Christmas shopping mission with my kids to one of…