Hey, I have an idea! Let's talk about something that has absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with politics! You in?
I am so excited about today's themed edition of Works-For-Me Wednesday. I hope you're planning to chime in--I'm counting on your good ideas.
I suspect that you, like me, have had the experience of giving your children gifts that end up in the back of a closet, attic or garage after a few short weeks. Some toys just resonate with children, others (most, actually, I think) don't. This year, especially, I don't have the time or budget for accumulating junk. (Nor do I have the closet space.)
So, for this edition, I'm planning to share some time-tested toys our family has loved--the toys that I think are actually worth buying. I hope you'll share your list, too. You might consider listing the ages you think suit each toy best. Feel free to provide specific product links and brand names, or be more general in your recommendations.
Here is my family's list (and, just so you know, I did not receive any free products or compensation in exchange for these recommendations. Just the goodness of my own heart, girls):
Thomas the Train (ages 1 and up). These are not cheap toys. But they stand the test of time (particularly the brand name; the generic train sets don't quite measure up, though they're still good toys). We have a huge Thomas set and (shhh...don't tell) when I get it out for my daughter, her older brothers will sometimes drift into the room to "help" her.
Magnetix (ages 4 and up). We're big fans of building toys around here. Of course, Legos have always been a favorite, but Magnetix is an excellent toy, too. You have to be careful with the tiny pieces around little kids, but for the big kids, this has been a huge hit.
Elefun (ages 2-5). This is a fun little toy that has been a favorite of every one of my preschoolers. It's simple and active--especially good for cooped-up cold days inside.
Wii (ages 5 and up). We've had other gaming systems; the Wii is my hands-down favorite. Of course, parents always have to apply some common-sense limits to video-game time, but the Wii is so much more interactive than the others. It's actually been a source of fun family time.
Aquadoodle (ages 1-5). My kids have always loved drawing toys, but sometimes they can get gunky and worn out easily. I bought a travel-sized Aquadoodle for my daughter this fall, and I am in love with this toy. It's more compact than a Magnadoodle (great for the car), and--best of all--the "ink" is simply water. Easy to refill, and if it spills? It's just water. I love it so much that I'm thinking about getting Corrie the full-sized version for Christmas.
Shut-the-Box (ages 5 and up). My grandparents had this game in their house when I was growing up; last year I looked all around to find one for my family. It's simple and fast, and it builds budding math skills. We have some violently competive Shut-the-Box tournaments in this family.
Blokus (ages 5 and up). I love this game because it is cerebral and challenging. My kids love this game because they can beat me, EVERY time.
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I can't wait to hear your recommendations; please leave your link below. First timers, check out the guidelines here. Please note that the links will close at 8 pm CST tonight, in order to keep away the spammers!
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