Eliza and Opal the Owl Bank

A while back, we shared that Eliza modeled for Constructive Playthings catalogues. You can still find her sprinkled through their website. Eliza got paid in toys (not literally–in the form of a gift certificate) and last weekend we finally made the trip out to the Kansas US Toys Retail Store.

Eliza originally wanted to get the puppets she modeled with, but she switched gears and decided she wanted Diagon Alley Harry Potter Legos. Only the most expensive Harry Potter set of Legos there is. We knew that US Toys was likely to have it, as they have the biggest selection of Legos in the Midwest (which will change when the Kansas City Legoland Discovery Center opens in May).

We told her she could cash in her piggy bank and we’d see how close she could get. We said we’d be willing to let her work off the remainder if she got close (Mostly because we like the HP Legos too. And we have dangerous collecting personalities. We’ve already purchased a few of the sets she doesn’t have yet in preparation for Christmas 2012). And, dude, the DA set is super cool.

Jonas, Eliza, and Opal the Owl Bank

So my sister Taylor took Eliza and her owl bank, Opal, to the grocery store to one of those change machines that takes a percentage, but prevents you from having to roll change into those paper tubes to take to the bank. And Eliza came back with almost 100 dollars. How did she save $100? I don’t think I ever had $100 to spend as a kid, much less $100 + a gift certificate to spend on toys. It was looking like she wouldn’t have to work anything off.


Jonas was just excited that it was looking like we’d be going outside.

U.S Toys

We were totally surprised when we got there. It was huge! It doesn’t even look like a toy store from the outside. It looks like a teeny tiny office building or something. Then you walk inside, and there’s a huge warehouse of toys, homeschooling supplies, magic tricks, party supplies, and awesomeness.

Cashing in at U.S. Toys

Sadly, they had every Harry Potter set BUT Diagon Alley (apparently, you can only get it on the Lego website), so we had to look through the whole store. They didn’t have the monster puppets either, so (after we talked her out of a big art easel that we don’t have room for), E settled on saving her $100 for Diagon Alley (eventually) on-line, and she spent her gift certificate on the Knight Bus Harry Potter Lego set, a puzzle, M&Ms, a little music box keychain, and some plastic kid chopsticks. The whole time we were talking about how much money she had, the different options she had, and the variety of outcomes she could choose. Talking through decisions like these helps kids to develop logic, budgeting skills, and (according to an article I recently read in Parenting magazine) helps kids get better at multiple choice tests as well.

Cashing in at U. S. Toys

Handing over her very own hard earned money at the checkout was a very proud moment for Eliza. I was proud that she chose not to spend it all at once. That money would have been burning a hole in my 6-year-old pocket. Looks like she has got Jake’s financial sense, thank goodness.

U.S. Toys

She left a very happy camper.

Hello, Lego Dude.

And Jonas left very disappointed that this giant Lego dude couldn’t come with us.

**This post isn’t sponsored, though obviously we’re talking about US Toys because we had a gift certificate from Eliza’s modeling. Otherwise we wouldn’t have known it was there.