For any of you that have kids that are in school, you know that throughout the year the schools are constamtly sending home order forms to buy books from Scholastic. They have done this for years as a way for kids to get interested in reading. I can remember bringing it home from school and marking all the books I wanted my mom to buy me.
Now that I am a mom, my kids are bringing home these same book orders, but they now have more than just books. They now offer games, educational toys, computer games, video games, etc. I am so glad that they have decided to include these things with their book selections.
I have also discovered a quick, easy way to do some secret shopping for christmas and birthdays. I have my kids mark all the things they want with a colored pen (different color for each child) and wait till they go to bed. Then I sit down and go over everything they have picked and choose one of the things they marked and fill it in. While I'm doing this, I usually look to see if there is anything else they have marked that would be good for their birthday, christmas, easter, etc. I then mark these items also and seal it in an envelope to be handed in to their teacher. I sometimes go in and give the order to the teacher myself and ask her not to let my kids have their order when she hands them out or you can just write a short note explaining the same thing and include it in the envelope. I instead tell her that I will come in and personally pick them up.
This usually works out well for me, cause I try to let them have at least one of the things they marked and put the rest away. With all the new items you can choose in the book order now, this has saved me from having to go out to the store alone to shop for gifts. I can buy things without having any kids with me and the prices are very reasonable.
So the next time your kids bring home one of these book orders, talk to their teacher and ask if you could use it to do a little secret shopping. It's worked great for me.